The family of an Army Special Forces soldier who was killed in action in Afghanistan more than eight years ago is being provided a mortgage-free home in Fruitland Park.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation will present the keys of the new residence to Crystal Blasjo on Tuesday at 9 a.m. – just in time for Thanksgiving. The event is being held at 405 Edith Drive in Fruitland Park and the public is invited to attend.
Crystal Blasjo’s husband, Sgt. Aaron Blasjo, was killed on May 29, 2011, while serving with the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). He died when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan. Blasjo was on his third deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when he was killed in action.
Blasjo enlisted in the Army in July 2004, right after graduating from high school, and was selected for the elite Green Berets two years later. His son, Talon, was just eight weeks old when Blasjo was killed at the age of 25.
The timing of Tuesday’s dedication ceremony is particularly special to Crystal Blasjo, who lost her mother around the Thanksgiving holiday in 2012.
“Nothing has really felt like home since Aaron died,” she said, adding that she and her son are looking forward to feeling at home in Fruitland Park – the city she chose for her new residence.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Tower Foundation’s mission is to honor the sacrifice of New York City firefighter Stephen Siller, who laid down his life to save others on Sept. 11, 2001. To date, the foundation has spent more than $125 million to honor and support first responders and veterans who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.
Blasjo’s new home is one of three the foundation is giving away next week. On Monday, Nov. 25, Caitlin Anderson will receive a new residence in Smithville, Tenn. And on Wednesday, Nov. 27, the foundation will be in Wimauma, an unincorporated area in Hillsborough County, to present a new home to Jillian Hinton.
To learn more, visit tunnel2towers.org.